Europa presiona a WhatsApp por los términos de uso

WhatsApp will have to improve its terms of service

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Do you remember that during the first half of last year WhatsApp’s terms of use led the company to a great controversy? In certain regional versions of the same, Meta (then Facebook) forced its users to allow the transfer of data from WhatsApp to Facebook, under penalty of not being able to use the service again. The reactions did not take long to happen, and the company itself recognized errors in the communication about these changes.

Although since then Meta claims to have made changes to improve its communication in this regard, reading the terms of use of WhatsApp to this day is still a somewhat arduous task and, what is worse, with enough ambiguities to raise doubts about what exactly we are allowing. Be careful, and this is not an exclusive criticism of WhatsApp and Meta, in fact the ToS (Terms of Service), which were already quite complex two and three decades ago in terms of software, have only gotten worse.

Fortunately, there are entities dedicated to monitoring these movements, precisely to protect users from potential abuse, and in this regard the European Union is slow, very slow, but as a general rule it tends to be safe. Thus, and as we can read in today’s briefing from the European Commission, Europe has urged WhatsApp to improve its communication on data policies and updates to its terms of use. service.

Europe presses WhatsApp for the terms of use

This move by the European Commission comes as a result of several complaints in national consumer protection entities that have been presented between 2021 and 2022, that is, as a result of the chaotic situation that occurred from January of last year, when Facebook announced the changes that would affect the data protection and privacy of WhatsApp users. Thus, although now the movement comes through the commission, several national agencies have already issued communications in this regard previously.

It is not, either, the first movement of the European Commission in this sense. The agency has already contacted Meta previously to request improvements in this regard, as a result of which the company has introduced certain improvements since then. However, European regulators consider that it is still not enough, that the terms of WhatsApp must be clearer so that they are understandable, without ambiguity, for European citizens.

Now the big question is how the Commission will act if Meta ignores this request and does not improve the readability and interpretability of WhatsApp’s terms of use. Recent modifications in the regulations in this sense make possible the imposition of quite high economic sanctions. And we won’t have to wait long, since the Commission grants a period of only one month for these changes to take place.

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